I won't go into detail on the specifics of the class as other reviewers have done a great job of summarizing everything in this PDF. Instead I just want to thank the author for providing a fun, well-balanced class that captures everything I loved about the D&D 3.0 Shifter and Master of Many Forms, updating the concepts for Pathfinder, fixing all the wonkey stuff, and delivering a martial master of shape shifting! If you were like me and was disappointed in the Ultimate Wilderness Shifter, then this class is for you. As if the base class wasn't great enough, the PDF also includes some great archetypes and a very cool prestige class. Want to play an elemental shifter? A fey shifter? You like Attack on Titan and want to play a Pathfinder version of Eren Yeager? You can do it. Want to play living objects, an ooze, or a dragon shifter? You can do it. Buy this PDF. You will not be disappointed!
The future of GMing is here and it is the Cypher System
I picked up Numenera about 2 months ago because I'm a big fan of Monte Cook's work. His concepts are hyper imaginative and embody outside the box thinking. He didn't disappoint with Numenera. How to describe the premis of the game? Picture a cool combination of fantasy and hard sci fi with a touch of Gamma World and Thundarr thrown in. That really doesn't do the ninth world where the game takes place justice but you get the idea. I'll break my review into a GM perspective and a players perspective.
I've been GMing for over 25 years (mostly D&D and Pathfinder) and Numenera is a GM's dream come true. The elegant, streamlined Cypher System that powers Numenera takes the focus off number crunching and on weaving an engaging story with your players. I don't know about you, but as I've gotten older and busier, I just don't have the hours needed to stat out new monsters and NPCs just to see them taken down in a couple of rounds by a few lucky rolls. My players are also getting tired of long, complex fights that are more math than adventuring. In the Cypher System, a GM can literally stat out a monster or NPC in less than a minute. I'm not exaggerating. As a GM, I find this system incredibly liberating. With Numenera, I get to focus on building a flexible, fun and interactive adventure that is shaped as much or more by my players than by me. No railroading players necessary with this game!
My players jumped on the Numenera band wagon after one session. That's all it took us to wrap our heads around the rules. No steep learning curve here. Players can create their character in minutes by choosing a descriptor (swift, mutant, etc), type(a glaive-think fighter type, nano-like a techno wizard/psionic type, and a jack - good at a variety of areas) and focus (fuses flesh and metal, exists partially out of phase, wields to weapons, etc.). While simple, the character creation system allows for a wide degree if character individualization. Two of my players both wanted to play jacks who fuse flesh with metal and both toons are very different.
Numenera also has a lot of support products either out or in the pipeline. I ran one of the adventures included in the core book and the first half of Vortex and they were both great introductions to the game. A bestiary that adds to the monsters already included in the corebook and a equipment book are in the pipeline. Monte Cook has also teamed up with Bruce Cordell on a new game that is 100% compatible with Numenera. It is called The Strange and is currently blowing through stretch goal after stretch goal on Kickstarter.
Lastly, the corebook itself is a beautiful peice of work. The hardcover has great binding, high quality paper and includes awesome illustrations. What are you waiting for? Grab your battle axe and your phase disrupter and start exploring the mysteries of the ninth world! You won't be disappointed.